The definition of a McDojo!!

dancingalone

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Why must the two be mutually exclusive?

I think that everyone can benefit from the martial arts. If for no other reason than this: there was a time when students would have schoolyard scrapes and such and by the time we all got out of high school, we all has a pretty good idea of what it was like to be in a fight. When real trouble came our way, we knew what real trouble was. We knew what it mean to hit and be hit.

Now, our lives are kept so sanitary that the divide between the average citizen and the street tough is so great that the average person is pretty much defenseless in every conceivable way.

Just my vision of things, Daniel. I expect all my students to be at a certain level of physical fitness and mental acuity as a prerequisite to even studying with me. In reality, all my students could be called athletes and most of them are quite sharp with significant professional accomplishments. They don't study with me for some patting on the back as they don't need it.

It may sound elitist, but that's really not what I'm trying to aim for at all. One of my goals in teaching was to find training partners for myself, and frankly I'm not interested in running a fitness class. There are many other available venues for that. I'd like to be able to say that I offer instruction in classical karate with some aiki influences mixed in. The environment is tough-minded and you're really going to have to work at it to keep up with your classmates since everyone is physically strong already.
 

Daniel Sullivan

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Not elitist at all.:)

I also agree with you about the pat on the back part. Positive reinforcement is good and should be given, but not unearned praise.

Unearned praise and false confidence is where I tend to have the biggest non-monetary problem with McDojos. This comes both in the form of 'good job' when the student it terrible and in the form of unearned belts.

To clarify, a belt is a sign that the student knows the curriculum of the previous level and is reasonably proficient with it (a yellow belt's proficiency with white belt material will differe from that of a blackbelts's but should show the appropriate amount of proficiency for a beginner student of that level).

I would see a school such as yours as a hard core school. Nothing wrong with that. Every field of study has specialized and advanced schools. Not every Steve Vai wannabe can get into Berkely, and not everyone can get into every martial arts school. Truth be told, I wish that there were more schools such as yours.

Daniel
 

astrobiologist

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...a belt is a sign that the student knows the curriculum of the previous level and is reasonably proficient with it...

And that's pretty much it. Belts are not supposed to be status symbols outside of the training school. I mean, it is completely okay to take pride in your accomplishments, but too many students of the martial arts are being led to believe that the goal of their training is a trophy, or a belt, or a plaque, or any other 'pat on the back' as you say.

The belt is a tool for an instructor and a student to track the student's progress through a martial arts curriculum.
 

jim777

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. Not every Steve Vai wannabe can get into Berkely, and not everyone can get into every martial arts school. Truth be told, I wish that there were more schools such as yours.

Daniel

Props for the Vai line :D I was sitting here with my white Jem in hand when I read it :lol: (and that's my son Seamus with a Universe 7 string in my avatar)
 

Daniel Sullivan

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Those are beautiful guitars, Jim.

I used to work for Guitar Center and spent my days trying to justify owning one just because it looked soooo cool. I finally had to say no: I already owned more than one guitar and I knew that as cool as it looked, I'd always wind up back on my Gretsch (I've since sold the Gretsch and my JTM 45 Bluesbreaker to pay for braces for my kids).

I still remember being asked about the handle by a customer and telling him, "that is the monkey grip, and the ribbed cutout below the tremelo block is the lion's claw." The guy had come in for a Les Paul and said that he hated Floyd Rose trems, but he was so taken with that guitar that he just had to play it. It had a black krinkle finish and a mirrored pick guard. One of the most visually striking guitars in the store. Thng played like a dream. He walked out with it too!

Daniel
 

granfire

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Just my vision of things, Daniel. I expect all my students to be at a certain level of physical fitness and mental acuity as a prerequisite to even studying with me. In reality, all my students could be called athletes and most of them are quite sharp with significant professional accomplishments. They don't study with me for some patting on the back as they don't need it.

It may sound elitist, but that's really not what I'm trying to aim for at all. One of my goals in teaching was to find training partners for myself, and frankly I'm not interested in running a fitness class. There are many other available venues for that. I'd like to be able to say that I offer instruction in classical karate with some aiki influences mixed in. The environment is tough-minded and you're really going to have to work at it to keep up with your classmates since everyone is physically strong already.

Well, the world needs the Professors and the Kindergarden teachers.

I can see where the Martial Arts can have a profound impact on youngsters, greatly helping their development. Will any of them be material for the students you desire? Not likely, but hopefully I have done my share to produce a successful person - in the widest sense of the meaning.

It's like reading and math, everybody profits from it, only a few become pulitzer prize winning authors or rocket scientists.
 

dancingalone

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Well, the world needs the Professors and the Kindergarden teachers.

I can see where the Martial Arts can have a profound impact on youngsters, greatly helping their development. Will any of them be material for the students you desire? Not likely, but hopefully I have done my share to produce a successful person - in the widest sense of the meaning.

It's like reading and math, everybody profits from it, only a few become pulitzer prize winning authors or rocket scientists.

I understand your position, Granfire. Martial arts has become something more and unfortunately something less than the vocational warrior training it once was. You see MA as an activity like perhaps soccer, where children may learn motor skills along with life skills like teamwork. Self defense skills is something that may be learned incidentally along the way amidst the tournaments and in class fun.

It's a popular viewpoint and probably even the majority one in the United States today. However, it's not mine. Thanks for the reply.
 

dancingalone

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Not elitist at all.:)

I also agree with you about the pat on the back part. Positive reinforcement is good and should be given, but not unearned praise.

Unearned praise and false confidence is where I tend to have the biggest non-monetary problem with McDojos. This comes both in the form of 'good job' when the student it terrible and in the form of unearned belts.

To clarify, a belt is a sign that the student knows the curriculum of the previous level and is reasonably proficient with it (a yellow belt's proficiency with white belt material will differe from that of a blackbelts's but should show the appropriate amount of proficiency for a beginner student of that level).

I would see a school such as yours as a hard core school. Nothing wrong with that. Every field of study has specialized and advanced schools. Not every Steve Vai wannabe can get into Berkely, and not everyone can get into every martial arts school. Truth be told, I wish that there were more schools such as yours.

Daniel

I agree for the most part with the sole caveat that I don't consider my school a hard core school at all. We just consider the only logical aim of studying martial arts to be that of acquiring fighting skill. Anything more than that is a modern addition and show be viewed with a jaundiced eye at best.
 

Daniel Sullivan

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I agree for the most part with the sole caveat that I don't consider my school a hard core school at all. We just consider the only logical aim of studying martial arts to be that of acquiring fighting skill. Anything more than that is a modern addition and show be viewed with a jaundiced eye at best.
True. I find that the definition of hard core has really changed. I tell people who have taken a taekwondo how I teach kendo and they think we're pretty rough. They come to class and think that I'm a hardcore instructor. I do not see myself that way.

Perhaps more serious school or more practical school would be more accurate?

Daniel
 

granfire

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I understand your position, Granfire. Martial arts has become something more and unfortunately something less than the vocational warrior training it once was. You see MA as an activity like perhaps soccer, where children may learn motor skills along with life skills like teamwork. Self defense skills is something that may be learned incidentally along the way amidst the tournaments and in class fun.

It's a popular viewpoint and probably even the majority one in the United States today. However, it's not mine. Thanks for the reply.


Well, warriors need to adapt. Times change. While I see your point and value your stance, I feel that what I do, in the soft way of the art also serves the way of the warrior. No, most of the students in the Dojang I work out at won't take kindly to blood flowing and bruises. But there are more ways than one to engage and even win battles. Like the little kid, knee high to a grass hopper, NOT the most physical or athletic kind, walking up to a older and larger kid, pushing others around on the playground at McDonald's "I have you know I am a blue belt in taekwondo and I think you should not do this" Anecdotal? Of course! But that is the stuff that makes us as instructors happy.

I don't think either approach is wrong, as long as the skill is taught and aquired. I can drive a car, but would wet my pants were I stuck in the Brickyard or in Daytona! The average person is not likely to need hardcore SD techniques. Add to that the necessity of functioning every day to do the day job....

The point is, one size does not fit all. Today's society has a number of major shortcomings, lack of physical activity and discipline being one, need for instant gratification another. Any single person can't stem this tide, takes team efford, on all fronts.


And last but not least, I am breakable and get less mendable as time goes on. I have to find smarter ways to fight than brute force alone.

In short (I think that's what I wanted to say) we can happily coexist. I don't mind being the reserve troups, as to your elite fighters. You gotta have more than one warrior class to win the battle. ;)
 

clfsean

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Those are beautiful guitars, Jim.

I used to work for Guitar Center and spent my days trying to justify owning one just because it looked soooo cool. I finally had to say no: I already owned more than one guitar and I knew that as cool as it looked, I'd always wind up back on my Gretsch (I've since sold the Gretsch and my JTM 45 Bluesbreaker to pay for braces for my kids).

I still remember being asked about the handle by a customer and telling him, "that is the monkey grip, and the ribbed cutout below the tremelo block is the lion's claw." The guy had come in for a Les Paul and said that he hated Floyd Rose trems, but he was so taken with that guitar that he just had to play it. It had a black krinkle finish and a mirrored pick guard. One of the most visually striking guitars in the store. Thng played like a dream. He walked out with it too!

Daniel

I never justified it... I just had to have one. So back in 1988 or '89 I bought one of the Hot Pink ones. Really wanted a green one, but they didn't have one. I traded it for a Les Paul about a year later. Hated myself ever since...
 

jim777

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Well, you can find some of each for sale in the Jemsite classifieds if you ever wander over :) The green ones were limited to just 777 copies first year (that's where my user name comes from) but the shocking pink ones only sold for a few years as well, making them pretty rare as well.
Anyway, back on topic :)
 

matt.m

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You can have "Elitists and Reservists" easily in the same class. Look a lot of what we do instills self-confidence and respect towards others.
 

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